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What is measles?

Measles has been defined as the infection of the respiratory system that occurs due to a virus named paramyxovirus of the genus Morbillivirus. Like the other paramyxoviruses, even the traits of this virus are enveloped and single-stranded with negative sense RNA viruses. Some of the most common symptoms occurring due to this virus include cough, fever, runny nose, red eyes and a generalized erythematous rash. Basically measles spreads through respiration and occurs when people come in contact with fluids from an infected person. This can be through direct contact or even through aerosol transmission and is regarded highly contagious. It has been seen that almost 90% of people get affected from measles without immunity due to sharing a house with an infected person. The average incubation period and infectivity time for measles is 14 days, but this can range from 6 to 19 days in most cases. Usually the infection lasts from 2-4 days after and before the onset. The term German measles is not related to the regular measles and is caused by the rubella virus. tHIS IS TEST LINE

Symptoms and causes of measles
The most common symptoms of measles include runny nose, conjunctivitis or the redness of the eye and cough. It has been seen that fever can go up to 104° Fahrenheit. Apart from this Koplik spots can also been seen inside the mouth but they are transient and may disappear within a day. The other symptoms of measles include rashes, which are generalized but the maculopapular and erythematous rash usually starts several days after the fever. There are cases where it may also occur before the fever and spreads in most of the body causing itching. This rash is diagnosed as the stain and it changes color from red to dark brown before disappearing totally. Basically measles is caused due to a virus and hence there are no specific courses prescribed for it and the doctor usually gives the medicine after evaluating the situation.

Diagnosis and treatment of measles

Usually the clinical diagnosis of measles needs the history of fever of at least three days along with observation of the other symptoms of the disease. It has been seen that the laboratory diagnosis of measles is done with the confirmation of positive measles. Here the antibodies or isolation of measles virus RNA are taken for the tests. There are cases where the secondary vaccine failure happens and the antibody may not be present. But the common symptoms like nausea and headaches may occur. Measles occurs mostly in children but can also happen to adults. Any contact of semen, saliva or even mucus with the infected person can cause measles. There are no specific treatments or antiviral therapy available for measles and hospitalization may be required in serious cases. Some of the best hospitals for treating measles in India include AIIMS.

Measles can be prevented in infants till 6 months after birth because of the immunity passed on from their mothers. The kids older than 6 months can take the measles-mumps-rubella immunizations or MMR, which includes the vaccination for measles.

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